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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, November 22, 2016
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‘Marcos coffin' torched

Men dressed as devils dragged a black coffin bearing the pictures of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte down Araneta Street in Bacolod City and torched it in front of the Fountain of Justice yesterday afternoon.

They were part of about300 members of the Mothers and Relatives Against Tyranny and Repression Negros (MARTYR), protesting the burial of Marcos at the LibinganngmgaBayanilast week.

Chanting “Marcos diktador, Hitler, bunkalon, bunkalon (Marcos dictator, Hitler, dig him out, dig him out)”, the MARTYR members, who said they were victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime, demanded justice for the wrongs committed against them.

They said they were torching the coffin to show how the burial of Marcos had stoked the anger of the victims of Martial Law who have yet to attain justice.

They also hit President Rodrigo Duterte for allowing the Marcos burial at the LNMB.

Flabbergasted by the SC decisionand President Dutere, who has postured himself as anti-corrupt, progressive, and pro-people, but yielding to the demands of the Marcos family, the human rights victims especially in Negros are again reliving the nightmare of the Martial Law years, journalist Edgar Cadagat, president of the Claims Assistance Processing Office/MARTYR said, at the rally yesterday.

Cadagat, who was jailed during Martial Law, said Marcos ruled the country with an iron fist, resulting in the arrest, torture, salvaging, massacre and disappearance of political activists and ordinary citizens who opposed his administration.

Marcos' human rights record was unprecedented in history as more than 75,000 filed their claims under Republic Act 10368, alaw which recognizes and gave reparationsto human rights victims under his regime, Cadagat added.

“Disregarding Marcos's record as a plunderer, dictator and gross human rights violator,” Duterteordered to give Marcos a hero's burial dubbed by the nation as Black Friday, Cadagatsaid.

Cadagat quoted the dissenting opinion of Associate Justice Antonio Carpio stating that “the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution which unseated Marcos was the strongest form of dishonorable discharge from office since it was meted out by the direct act of the sovereign people.”

By allowing a hero's burial for Marcos, the SC and President Duterte have reversed the EDSA People Power Revolt, Cadagat added.

But there will be no moving forward until justice is served to the victims of the Marcos dictatorship, he said.

Cadagat said MARTYR is also joining rallies against Marcos burial at the LNMBto be initiated by the BagongAlyansangMakabayan on Friday and on Nov. 30 – Bonifacio Day.

These protests are just the beginning, and we expect the crowds to increase, Cadagat said.

Cadagat said the left will continue to be critical of the anti-people acts of President Duterte, and his supporting the burial of Marcos could be their breaking point.

He also said the president's alliances with China and Russia is just like jumping from the frying pan to the fire. China and Russia are imperialist, the Philippines should have a non-aligned policy, Cadagat said. *CPG






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